This book is based on the life accounts of 244 children of minority ethnic origin who were in need of permanent family placement, and who were placed with predominantly white foster carers and adopters. The book provides a most interesting overview of the decision-making and planning processes that shape the placement in care of children of minority ethnic origin in the UK. Its most important contribution is to provide informaion on placement outcome, which will undoubtably assist policy-makers, practitioners, foster carers, adopters and researchers in their efforts to develop enhanced programmes and services for children and their families when they are in need of alternative care.International Social WorkConsidering both `matched' and trans-racial child placements, this balanced and thoroughly researched book moves beyond the often simplistic and limiting racial distinctions such as `black' and `white' that inform much policy and practice around permanent placement.Using evidence from a long-term study of children placed with new families in the 1980s, and reviewing the available literature on ethnicity and child placement, the book looks at different types of placements and discusses whether they are more or less likely to break down, and their impact on aspects of well-being including ethnic identity.It includes first-hand accounts from young people and their adoptive or foster parents, and considers factors such as:choosing between foster placement and adoptionthe nature of ethnic and adoptive identitiessocial work practice with black and white adoptive and foster familiesissues of contact with birth family members.The authors emphasise that social workers, social services managers and policy makers need to consider adoption and family life within a wider social context, and outline positive new directions for both research and practice.
June Thoburn is Dean of the School of Social Work and the Director of the Centre for Research on the Child and Family at the University of East Anglia. Her main research interests are child welfare, adoption and foster care. Liz Norford is a qualified and experienced social worker who has previously worked as a placement consultant and trainer with the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering. Stephen Parvez Rashid is senior lecturer in Social work at the School of Health and Social Welfare, The Open University. His main research interests are social work practice with families of minority ethnic origin and cultural issues in child placement.
1. The Context to Permanent Family Placement for Black Children. 2. The Background to the Study and the Methods Used. 3. The Stories Behind the Placements. 4. The New Families. 5. The Children: Settling in and `Negotiating' Two Families. 6. Parenting, Family Relationships and Parental Satisfaction. 7. Issues of Ethnicity and Racism in the Lives of the Children and their Families. 8. Social Work and Other Support Services. 9. Families for Life or Ports in a Storm? 10. Our Findings Reviewed. References. Index.
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